Not many people like to hear the harsh realities of blogging. I didn’t want to either.
Like many people, I read some of the top personality development blogs online. If there is one message everyone has to say in common, then it is “Think positive.”
In my opinion something’s in life are better said than kept silent. One of those is the reality concerning blogging.
It took me a long time to understand the how’s, the why’s the when’s of blogging and online business. I have given up blogging 2 times in the past. Then I started to focus on the facts. This has helped me sustain my blogging as well as online business. And, I want to help you too.
Ugly Truth #1: Blogging isn’t Easy
If you regularly read blogs, or have been blogging for any length of time, you’d straight away agree with me that “blogging isn’t easy.”
It takes a lot of time to set up your blog (idea, research, hosting, design, schedule, content creation), and even more time to see it build some momentum. You have to create compelling content, read and comment on other blogs, learn SEO, and write guest posts, network with other bloggers and so on.
However, blogger burn out happens faster than most people anticipate it. Lot of people lose sight of their goals when they don’t see traffic coming their way. You can’t be blamed. It’s just human nature. We want results. Our actions are inspired by results.
We need motivation to do something. If you are working on a 9-5 job, then maybe it’s the paycheck that motivates you. Sometimes it may be the work culture or even the job itself that motivates you. Whatever you do, you need to be constantly motivated. It’s no different with blogging.
When you start blogging you are really motivated and super excited. How can you be not so? You are doing it for the first time. You are thrilled by the experience. Your expectations are sky high.
Six months down the road, you still do what you were doing when you started off. You are yet to receive loyal readership or feedback. It’s kind of de-motivating. I know. I have been through it when I launched my first blog. My second blog also had a short life. Heck even my third blog suffered the same fate.
Success happens when you slowly learn to swim against the flow. You keep pushing until you reach your goal. When you exercise, you keep pushing yourself to do an extra set. Just like that, when you think you have failed, you keep on pushing until success is in sight.
Take away tip: Authority blogging takes a while. If you need instant result, either become a celebrity and start blogging or develop patience. It takes 1 or 2 or even more number of years to achieve success.
Ugly Truth #2: Blogging Isn’t a Viable Business Model
Let’s face it, blogging is not a viable business model. Sure, you can be a web publisher and make money by selling ads on your blog, but this won’t be a business per se. Plus, the people who can make significant money with this model can be counted on a the fingers of your hand.
A better way to see it is that a blog is a tool to promote your business. Not the business itself. So you need to have a product, a service, or something else that you sell/offer to your customers.
If you want to build a successful business, then you need to use the blog to build trust, authority, generate leads and build customer relationship.
Take away tip: Blogging should be taken as a means to boost your main business
Ugly Truth #3: Blogging isn’t all about you
Many blogs about blogging advice people that your blog reflects your personality. They tell that a blog is all about you, you and only you.
Well, I’d like to say a blog is all about them, them and only them. Who’d I refer to as them? “Them” are the readers who visit your blog.
If people came to your blog because they liked you, then they’d be interested in your personal life as well. Try posting articles about your personal life and you will soon see people going away. This is because people come to your blog for niche specific contents. They want advice, tips and a little bit of motivation.
If a blog is all about the author, then I’d say problogger would be dead by now. How many posts does Darren from problogger post these days? Many of them are guest articles. Yet, problogger is as heavily trafficked as ever.
Take away tip: Blog with your readers in mind. Not your personality.
Ugly Truth #4: You don’t need to interact much with your readers
Reader interaction is supposed to be one of the holy grails of blogging.
Reader interaction happens most when people comment on your article. But do you really need other people’s comments on your blog?
Most of the time, people comment on your blogs only to get a link back to their blog. There are some exceptions though. You’d argue that we must give some sort of recognition to people who take their time to comment on our blog.
Would you really want to be thankful to someone if they hit your son with a truck and then later rescue him with the intention of getting money from you for saving your kid’s life?
I don’t want to portray other bloggers as criminals or something. It’s just that not all posts are worth commenting and not all comments are worth publishing. You have to be judicious while allowing comments and also while commenting on other blogs.
If the reader needs to ask something, let them use the contact form. If they have some outstanding contribution to make, let them provide it through the contact form and you edit the post and include it. You are now giving more value to the person who shares his ideas.
If you want to build a community, building a forum is much better where your readers can freely interact with each other. Having a forum section for your blog is also a good move.
Take away tip: Don’t worry too much about reader interaction. Provide them quality content, gather feedback and improvise.
Ugly Truth #5: Practice doesn’t make you perfect
Many writing blogs offer this advice. Write, write more and write even more.
I really don’t understand the concept. If you mix the wrong ingredients in the lab to make a new compound, you simply can’t make it. What use is it to do it over and over again, only to fail each time?
You must use some sort of feedback mechanism to constantly improve your process workflow. If you keep repeating the mistake, you get better at making the mistake, not avoiding it.
Take help from your friends, family members or even pay others to give constructive criticism. Forums are a great way to gather feedback for your site. And, it is absolutely free as well.
Take away tip: Use a feedback mechanism to improve your blog.
Ugly Truth #6: You don’t need a lot of blogging advice
Sad, but it’s the truth. You don’t need to read blog tips every-day. Keep the basic points in mind.
- Understand and listen to your readers (Using analytics, feedbacks etc)
- Write quality content and killer articles
- Promote your blog posts through guest posts or other means
- Observe what others in your niche are talking about
I am not saying that you shouldn’t read the tips online. It’s good that you have an understanding about these tips because it worked for some. But, it needn’t work for you.
The only thing you need to do is start doing things your way. If you keep reading articles about blogging and wait for the right moment to start a blog after grasping everything, that moment will never come.
Nothing can teach you better than experience. Go ahead, try blogging your own way, and see what works and what doesn’t work.
What do you think will add to the list of ugly truths? Do you think some points aren’t as ugly as I make it out to be? Speak up!
About the Author: Adarsh helps other people start their own online business. You can read more from him on CoversionChamp.com.